Literature and Culture

Casa Italiana offers also classes to enrich the knowledge of the Italian culture and literature. 

Each semester there is a new, fascinating course! From Italian movie classics to literary classics, to the study of characters that have made Italy what it is today, Casa Italiana's teachers will show you another side of the "Bel Paese".

GELO by Maurizio De Giovanni

We will read “Gelo”, which is part of the series of books written by Maurizio de Giovanni about “I Bastardi di Pizzofalcone”.  The ”commissariato” of Pizzofalcone is where police detectives are sent after getting in trouble on the job.  The office is scheduled for closure but the team of detectives  becomes close and work very well together in order to save the center.  Each character brings his own personality and skills to the squad to help solve the mysteries. Naples is under an exceptional cold snap in this story, hence the title “Gelo”.  There is a murder and, of course, a murderer.  Who did it?  The one we least suspect and consequently the hardest one to find!

Tuition: $ 370 (12 weeks)

Sun. 10:00 AM - 12:30 PM;

Instructor: Liliana Lanzano

Starts:  April 11 – July 11

by Enzo Striano

In the hot Naples summer of 1799, the republican poet and journalist Eleonora de Fonseca Pimitel was executed in the Piazza del Mercato under the orders of the Bourbon King Ferdinand IV who had just been restored to his throne. The true meaning behind her rebellion has a value which cannot be traced back to “The rest of morning”. Beside reading the book, students will do research on Naples and Campania region. 

Tuition: $ 370 (12 weeks)

Tues. 6:30 - 9:00 PM;

Instructor: Marisa Darvish

Starts: April 13 - June 29

LA MISURA DELL'UOMO by Marco Malvaldi

Five hundred years after Leonardo da Vinci’s death, Marco Malvaldi combines literature, science, history and crime to bring back to life one of the greatest figures of the Renaissance. When a man is found dead in the Milano Castle courtyard, Ludovico il Moro turns for help to Leonardo who is not in a position to refuse his master’s request to investigate. Students will read the book and do research on the city of Milano.

Tuition: $ 370 (12 weeks)

Sun. 9:30 AM - 12:00 PM;

Instructor: Marisa Darvish

Starts: April 11 - July 11


The Renaissance has profoundly influenced Western culture and is indissolubly linked with Italy and with Florence, which was its cradle. What better way to broaden your knowledge of Italian language and culture than to dialogue through the centuries with some of the most brilliant artists who made the Bel Paese an extraordinary laboratory of ideas and a great forge of beauty? In each session we will focus on the life and works of one of the following artists: Antonello da Messina, Botticelli, Leonardo, Michelangelo, Raphael and Titian.

The activities carried out in the classroom and at home will include listening, reading, discussions, and exercises. 

This class will be held in Italian and is aimed at intermediate/advanced students.

The learning material will be provided by the course's instructor.

Tuition: $ 185 (6 weeks)

Fri. 5:30 PM - 8:00 PM

Instructor: Laura Vinti

Starts: May 28th – July 2nd


Selections from movies will provide the mature students with a rich overview of Italian history and society.  Discussions and role play will serve as a pretext for improving conversation skills and fluency, while analyzing the cultural and social aspects of the Italian lifestyle.  Grammar and syntax will be reviewed as necessary during class discussion. 

Movies: "La vita davanti a sé" (Sofia Loren's latest movie); "Johnny Stecchino" by Roberto Benigni; "Rocco e i suoi fratelli" by Luchino Visconti.

Tuition: $ 200

Sun. 9:30- 12:00 PM;

Instructor: Ingrid Nifosi 

Starts: May 23 - July 11

The learning material will be provided by the course’s instructor


This course aims to refine listening skills and fluency and to expand vocabulary for students who possess an advanced level of Italian. Through a selection of movies, documentaries, and independent videos, the course will discuss some historical, cultural, social, and linguistic aspects of Italy and its language. The course will adopt a conversational approach, however, grammar and syntax will be reviewed as necessary.


The learning material will be provided by the course’s instructor

Tuition: $ 370 (12 weeks)

Tues. 6:30 - 9:00 PM

Instructor: Elisa Sartore 

Starts April 27 – July 13


Are you interested to discover and dig up information on some of the most mysterious Italian cold cases? Have you ever heard of them? This Intermediate-to-advanced course will be dedicated to some of the many murders and tragic events in Italy that have yet to be solved and investigate them with readings, conversation and authentic videos about the events. Grammar and related terminology will be covered as these emerge from class discussions. 


Amanda Knox

La strage di Ustica (The Ustica plane crash) 

Pier Paolo Pasolini 

Il caso Mattei (The Mattei case) 

Il caso Marta Russo (The Marta Russo case)

Il caso Gladio (The Gladio case)  


The learning material will be provided by the course’s instructor

Tuition: $ 185

Wed. 6:300 - 8:00 PM

Instructor: Federica Barella

Starts April 14 – May 19